Sunday, June 3, 2012




Look closely enough at the passenger side mirror of any car you’ll see objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.  Seems fairly self-evident.  So why do “they” need to put this on every passenger side mirror?

I mean, do we really need to state the obvious, like: coffee in the cup may be hotter than it appears, or water in pool may be deeper that it appears, or glass in the window may be more breakable than it appears, or dogs may be more vicious than they appear, or cigarettes may be more deadly than they appear, or people you encounter may be more boorish than they appear, or…. you get the point.  Life, in general, may be tougher than it appears, and politicians generally less truthful and forthcoming, and more bi-partisan than they appear, but nobody feels compelled to post those fairly obvious warnings.

At some point, aren’t we responsible for our own behavior, safety, and well-being?  Think about it: all these warnings have done little to protect society in general from itself in spite of the fact that many know the warnings are pretty much true.

Now think about some of the suggestions that have changed behaviors in our lifetime: the Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Don’t Drink and Drive campaign – do you know anyone who drinks and drives anymore; Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautify America campaign in the 60s - people really did stop throwing trash out car windows and on the ground; or the Buckle Up seatbelt campaign – everyone wears one today. That’s because these, and many more suggestions (not warnings), made the kind of sense that people quickly understood and supported.  No constant reminders or government regulations were needed.  That’s because people generally take note and do the right things when, in fact, they are the right things to do.

So, in my humble opinion, there are only a few things that should be a little closer than they appear: family, friends, loved ones, favorite books, things that make you smile, and an empty taxi in the rain.  And here's, my favorite: that cute little baby in the picture above – she can’t appear or be close enough (sorry, this grand-parenting thing is closer than it appears :).

My message this week is about personal responsibility and the dynamics of getting anything accomplished:
Arte Nathan“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Meade

Margaret Mead (1901 – 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist, a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture, and a respected, if controversial, academic anthropologist.

How thoughtful and committed are you?  To the things you do, to the people you’re with, to the ideas you have, and to the dreams you share with others?  Without your real and total commitment, there’s not much chance you’ll be successful enough or make a big enough impact for anyone to notice, or anything truly great to result.  And without your thoughtfulness, hard work and commitment, there’s no way that others will believe and trust you, or that they’ll make the same kind of commitment as you. This is especially true when whatever you’re doing is part of a team, because in that situation others rely directly on you to do your part.  The group dynamics of a team are very sensitive to the concept of reciprocity – everyone believing, feeling, sensing, acting and working at each individual’s very best – for the benefit of all.  If you’re part of a team today, never doubt that a group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Stay well!

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